Loss

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When I found out I was pregnant a couple months ago, I had a dream shortly thereafter.

In the dream, I had given birth to twins. The twins happened to look like my furry orange cat, ┬áMarty McFly, but in the dream that wasn’t weird.

What was disconcerting in the dream, though, was that I lost one of the twins. We had gone to a park or a shopping mall of some kind and somehow I had turned my back for too long and one was missing.

I never found the baby in the dream.

When my husband and I watched the monitor in my doctor’s office Wednesday afternoon, squinting to make out the shades of gray that show up on an ultrasound, I saw the baby, one baby, that I knew we would meet this fall. I saw the baby’s spine, a miraculous tiny chain of vertebrae. And I waited for the movement, the tiny blinking I knew we should see. I convinced myself the doctor was just checking other things out first, taking measurements of the baby’s head perhaps.

But, no, I knew before she said it. I had lost our baby. Not just in a dream where the baby was a cat who I lost track of, but in real life. My real life. Our baby had no heartbeat. It measured 8 weeks, 4 days. I believed I was 9 weeks, 2 days along in my pregnancy. Sometime last week, while I went about my life as a mother, wife, teacher and all the other things, our baby we’ll never know said goodbye.

Angel babies, I’ve heard people say. I don’t really believe in God or angels or Heaven, but I totally and completely understand why people do.

The past couple days online, Facebook wants to remind me of the picture I shared on Feb. 7, 2014. It’s a picture of 4-year-old Paige holding a sheet of paper with two ultrasound pics taped to it and the words she wrote: “Big sister. x 2!”

We lost Lila’s twin a few weeks after that, and I never could bring myself to update Facebook with that news. At the time, I was terrified we would lose Lila, too. Baby A was how they’d referred to her. Baby B, we will never know.

Yesterday, I had surgery. In a cold, bright, stark white room surrounded by people I didn’t know, I was put to sleep and a doctor I’d only met a few minutes before, sucked my sweet angel baby number two right out of my uterus.

When I woke up, I was in a new room with new people. My throat hurt and I was thirsty, and I couldn’t believe it was over. I asked the nurse, “What do they do with the things they took out of me?”

She didn’t know. And I didn’t know. And I closed my eyes again because I was sleepy. I was so sleepy.

Last night, I did not dream of Lila’s angel sibling or our sweet solo Angel Baby A.

But I hope I do.

I hope someday I do.

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